Uprighted in September 2013, the Costa Concordia now sits upright on a platform the salvage companies constructed. (Photo by The Parbuckling Project)

Costa Concordia Removal Set for June

The port that wins the contract to scrap the damaged cruise ship will be announced in March, according to the timetable for the remainder of the salvage operation.

Italian officials on Jan. 10 announced the timetable for removing the damaged Costa Concordia from the coastline of Giglio Island and taking it to a port to be scrapped. Ports in five countries, including Italy, England, and France, are bidding for the job.

This cruise ship struck a reef in January 2012 and capsized. Thirty-two people died in the incident, and the ship's captain is still on trial on charges of manslaughter and abandoning the ship. The port that wins the contract to scrap the ship is to be announced in March 2014, and removal of the ship is scheduled for June, according to the timetable.

BBC News reported that Italy's environment minister, Andrea Orlando, said during the Jan. 10 news conference that the government prefers to have the ship scrapped at an Italian port to limit the environmental impact and also retain the project's economic benefits.

Sergio Ortelli, the mayor of Giglio, and Franco Porcellacchia, coordinator of the Concordia wreck removal project for Costa Crociere, held a meeting Dec. 14 to update the island's residents about the project. The ship was carefully uprighted three months earlier and now sits, stable, on a platform the salvage companies constructed on the sea floor.

At the meeting, Costa announced that 405 safes have been removed from dry cabins on board the wreck in agreement with judicial authorities. Their contents will be inventoried and returned to their owners.

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